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College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Iowa State vs. Memphis: How to Bet This Duel

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Iowa State vs. Memphis: How to Bet This Duel article feature image

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: DeAndre Williams

  • Iowa State and Memphis face off in the NIT Season Tip-Off Final.
  • The Cyclones are coming off a big upset over Xavier when they were 9.5-point underdogs.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and offers up his pick.

Iowa State vs. Memphis Odds

Friday, Nov. 26
9:30 p.m. ET
Iowa State Odds
+100o / -120u
Memphis Odds
+100o / -120u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

We have reached the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The upstart Iowa State Cyclones will take on the No. 9 ranked Memphis Tigers.

Coming off an impressive upset of Xavier as 9.5-point underdogs, the Cyclones are riding high into this matchup. They will certainly be aiming to carry that momentum into this game and possibly topple one more giant.

That giant is no small task as the Tigers have rolled early on this season. They showed a lot of consistent fight to defeat a pesky Virginia Tech team to reach today’s contest.

All that is left is to determine who will be crowned the NIT Season Tip-Off champion. So, what angle should we attack in this championship matchup?

Iowa State Cyclones

Hot Shooting Propelling Cyclones

This Iowa State team has shot the ball well all season, but they caught fire against the Musketeers. The Cyclones shot over 51% from the field, which is right in line with their above-average effective field goal percentage.

What was even more impressive and impactful is how they shot from downtown. Iowa State made 50 percent of its 3-point attempts, which helped to widen the margin of victory, as it held Xavier to just 14 percent from behind the arc.

Izaiah Brockington put his team on his back in the opening round of this tournament. The Penn State transfer dropped 30 points and added in six rebounds in the win.

Brockington has been tremendous to start the year for the Cyclones, as he is currently their leading scorer and leading rebounder.

Iowa State is certainly not a one-man show, though, as freshman Tyrese Hunter has made his presence felt through five games. Hunter has stepped up as the team’s leading facilitator and has proven he can put the ball in the bucket. Hunter has scored in double figures in four out of five games played this season.

This matchup with Memphis will be a big step up in competition for the Cyclones. The Tigers are second in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Tigers have also dominated on the boards, as they are eighth in offensive rebounding percentage.

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Memphis Tigers

Tigers’ Bigs Present Big Problems

Penny Hardaway has built quite a squad this season. I am very high on this Memphis team. I picked the Tigers to win their conference regular championship and I believe they have the ability to make a big run in March.

They cannot be caught looking ahead, though, because all that matters is this next game.

The Tigers’ pair of freshmen bigs have put the country on notice early on this year.

Jalen Duren is one of the few true centers in college basketball. He has been dominant down low, as he is averaging a double-double. What makes him more imposing, though, is his defensive presence. Duren is averaging 4.2 blocks per game.

The other half of the Memphis twin towers is Emoni Bates. Bates was one of the top freshmen recruits in the country entering the season and his talent has been on full display.

He has the potential to become one of the best pure scorers in the county. Bates possesses the athleticism, touch and range to be a nightmare for opposing defenders. Check out this move that he pulled off in his first college game earlier this year:

Emoni Bates is doing THIS in his first-ever college game 🤯

— ESPN (@espn) November 10, 2021

While Memphis may carry the reputation as one of the best overall defensive teams in the country, it has been very impressive on the offensive end, as well.

The Tigers are 32nd in effective field goal percentage. I mentioned before how elite they are on the offensive glass, so second chances come often.

Another area where they have converted often is at the free-throw stripe. Memphis is 12th in the country in free-throw rate.

All of these advantages will be apparent. Iowa State’s defensive numbers are solid, but it does not have the size to deal with the Tigers inside.

Iowa State vs. Memphis Betting Pick

The Cyclones have seemed to find their groove offensively and while I don’t expect the high-shooting numbers to carry over exactly, having their confidence high will certainly help.

Pairing them with a highly-efficient Tigers offense, which is coming off of a down offensive performance, suggests that points can flow in this game.

One last key to this game is the tempo that each squad will play at. Memphis plays at the fifth-fastest rate in the country and Iowa State will be willing to run with them as it ranks 73rd in tempo.

Lastly, aside from what the matchup tells us, I also see some value in this total. I project the total to be closer to 143. Take the over here and watch these two teams run.

Pick: Over 140 (Play to 141.5)

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